Time of year to help animals to stay safe
TEMPERATURES are dropping and nights are getting colder as autumn is truly upon us. During these months, the national RSPCA receive many calls about the welfare of pets and wildlife, so here is some advice for the months ahead.
During the darker nights, it is important to remain to be seen whilst out walking your dog.
You can do this by wearing reflective clothing to make yourself more visible and don’t forget your dog too!
Many pet shops sell reflective coats for dogs and you can also fit your dog and cat with a reflective collar – but please make sure only a quick release collar is used for your cat for its own safety.
Sadly we see more and more injured wild animals coming into our care, who have been involved in road traffic accidents, as the nights grow longer.
Road traffic accidents involving deer are especially common in more rural parts (yes one was spotted in Halsall quite close to the Animal Centre last year).
Please take extra care when driving at night and take note of warning signs, drive with extreme caution especially early in the morning and evening, keeping your eyes peeled to low flying pheasants.
Another animal the RSPCA get many calls over are Grey seals.
Breeding season is between September and December, so pups can often be spotted on our shores.
Many are assumed to be abandoned, but often this isn’t the case.
It’s not unusual to see a seal pup by itself.
Seal mums leave their pups very early on in life, when they are weaned at three to four weeks old.
If you find a seal pup that looks fit and healthy and shows no signs of distress, monitor it first from a safe distance for 24 hours.
Never approach a seal pup on its own, or allow dogs or other animals to harass them, as not only will you scare the seal pup, but they can give a nasty bite!
If a seal pup is scared into the water, it could be washed out to sea and become lost.
Too many seal pups are taken into captivity because people mistakenly think they’ve been abandoned.
More often than not, they are just young and need to rest.
Pups are born with a fluffy white coat and don’t enter the sea for the first two to three weeks.
As we head towards November 5 and the festive season, we will soon start to see fireworks and bonfires.
These can be very scary and dangerous to animals.
For anyone who will be building a bonfire of their own, we advise that you build your bonfire as close to time of lighting as possible, and check them thoroughly for animals before lighting; this can help save the lives of hedgehogs and other small animals.
Loud fireworks can be terrifying for animals, but there are things you can do.
To calm dogs during fireworks you can: walk them during daylight hours to avoid times when fireworks are likely to be set off; close windows and curtains to muffle the sound of fireworks; put on some music or TV to mask the firework sounds; create a quiet space where your dog can feel in control; and finally, you can create some hiding places around your home.
For cats you can do similar things, but also make sure you keep them indoors during night time, as if they get spooked, they may run off.
Also think about getting your cat microchipped in case they’re startled and do escape outside.
We offer a microchipping service here at the Animal Centre, New Cut Lane, PR8 3DW. Call us on 01704 567624 to book in. Last but not least, we can’t forget bats, as they too look for suitable hibernation sites around October.
Pipistrelles are the most likely to roost in buildings during winter.
Bats and their roosts are protected by law in the UK - so you must not disturb or harm them in any way.
If you would like to find out more about bats and the law check out www.bats.org.uk
A hedgehog in the RSPCA’s care
Seal pups can be seen on our coast